OK, we all know that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have taken presidential campaign dishonesty to a place we've seldom, if ever, seen. They don't just twist the truth as is common in politics, but they just make bald-faced statements over and over again, including in TV ads, that are easy to factcheck as outright lies.
For example: Both of them saying repeatedly before their convention that President Obama had weakened the welfare work rules; wasn't true. Ryan swearing up and down that he did not vote for the sequester when his signature is on the bill. Romney telling the nation in the first debate that his health-care plan covers pre-existing conditions, forcing his adviser to tell media right afterward that it doesn't. Or in the same debate, telling the nation that his plan did not include cutting everyone's taxes 20 percent (including the wealthy) even though he has said it for months in primary debates and TV interviews.
But this week, both media and car industry executives are in near shock that his Ohios ads keep claiming that Jeep is moving production to China (and blaming Obama for it). It is as bald-faced of a lie as one can tell and is causing panic among Chrysler employees and residents of states where jobs would be lost. And it's a lie that touches, and scares, real hard-working people.
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne wrote an email to employees assuring them the accusation is "inaccurate." He wrote:
“I feel obliged to unambiguously restate our position: Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China. It is inaccurate to suggest anything different.”
He added that Jeep is growing in the U.S.:
North American production is critical to achieving our goal of selling 800,000 Jeep vehicles by 2014. In fact, U.S. production of our Jeep models has nearly tripled (it is expected to be up 185%) since 2009 in order to keep up with global demand. [...]
Jeep is one of our truly global brands with uniquely American roots. This will never change. So much so that we committed that the iconic Wrangler nameplate, currently produced in our Toledo, Ohio plant, will never see full production outside the United States.
Jeep assembly lines will remain in operation in the United States and will constitute the backbone of the brand.
It is inaccurate to suggest anything different.
We've clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days,” GM spokesman Greg Martin said. “No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country.”
But even under this intense scrutiny about the Jeep lie, Romney keeps telling it. Here's a radio ad his campaign released this afternoon:
What is going on here? Is he a pathological liar? Will he seriously say anything to get elected? Does he think the electorate is deaf, dump and stupid? Or has he sold his soul in such a radical way to the extreme right that he doesn't know how to dig out of the pile?
Meantime, Romney has a serious FEMA crisis brewing because he has said he wants to eliminate FEMA (and his campaign confirmed it earlier this week). His response to reporters' questions? He's just ignoring them, pretending they're not asking about it:
Mitt Romney repeatedly ignored questions about his position on federal funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at an event for storm victims Tuesday. After speaking briefly to supporters and gathering donations Romney, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and some campaign staffers headed outside into the cold, rainy afternoon and proceeded to load up a yellow Penske truck with supplies, canned goods and other donated items. “Governor, are you going to see some storm damage?” one reporter asked. Several others again asked Romney whether he would eliminate FEMA. “Governor, you’ve been asked 14 times. Why are you refusing to answer the question?” one asked. Romney ignored the reporters’ queries and continued loading up the truck. Earlier, during the event, he ignored similar queries.
I'm having trouble wrapping my head around all this. He's supposed to be a serious and moral man, and he's running for president. Yet, he tells lie after lie. And now he is just ignoring reporters as a campaign crisis brews.
Who is this man? Serious question.